There is a bewildering array of gardening hoes and
choosing the correct one is sometimes a challenging task.
In reality though there are only two basic types
of hoe on the market plus a new one introduced by Wilkinson Sword
a few years ago. To make it even simpler, only one of the two
basic types is suitable for weeding. The other type of hoe is
designed for earthing up soil or forming seed drills.
TWO BASIC HOE TYPES
The two types are commonly referred to as the cutting hoe and the draw
hoe. The draw hoe is designed to easily form seed drills or earth up
This article is concerned with weeding with a hoe so we will
leave the draw hoe aside for another article. We also restrict this
article to hoes which are commonly used by gardeners. The hoe on the
left is a Dutch hoe, the typical cutting hoe.
The cutting hoe does exactly what is says, it cuts
weeds. It is also known as the push or Dutch hoe. This is the one you
want for weeding. The head of the hoe is laid on the ground and then
pushed back and forward just below soil level, severing the top of the
weed from the roots. The leading edge of the head of the hoe should be
kept sharp so that weeds are cut rather than dragged.
A new type of cutting hoe was introduced by Wilkinson
Sword a few years ago and was named the "Swoe". The difference with
this hoe is that three of the edges on the head are sharp. This allows
the hoe to be used not only back and forwards but side to side as
well. The head is also smaller than the traditional Dutch hoe which
allows for far more accuracy when hoeing near plants.
WHICH HOE IS BEST?
In our experience two types of hoe stand out, the Dutch hoe
and the Swoe (see left). If you are going for the Swoe then it has
to be from Wilkinson Sword because they are the only company that
manufacture this type of hoe.
Of the normal Dutch hoes stick
with the ones that have a stainless steel head. There are some
carbon steel ones available but the head will rust. In our
opinion, the Wilkinson Sword Dutch hoes are the best. The length
of the handles are correct for most people, they are light and cut
Between the Swoe and and the Dutch hoe we would opt for the
Swoe. We have one and it's great. Reading the reviews, it seems to
always come out the favourite.